Sunday, September 30, 2012

Honoring Hope

The big event is nearly here. In less than 48 hours I will have the privilege of honoring some amazing people for their compassion and advocacy. The RESOLVE Night of Hope is the day after tomorrow and I am so excited to be a part of it. Just being in the same room with so many of the people putting their hearts and souls into making a difference in the lives of those affected by infertility is an honor in itself but to be included among them as an honoree simply blows my mind. The other award recipients are truly incredible and I'm so humbled by their contributions to the infertility community. 

I remember sobbing last year, along with many of my fellow bloggy and Twitter pals, every time I saw he every little miracle commercial for Pampers. They showcased all of the ways families are made, including IVF, adoption and surrogacy without belittling or "othering" those parents. Being pregnant with my own IVF miracle at the time, I was moved each and every time I saw it and so grateful to have my experience included for once. For that ad, Pampers will be receiving the Hope Award for Achievement and I feel it couldn't be more well-deserved.

The other award recipients are even more inspiring. NPR is also being honored with the Hope Award for Achievement for a series of infertility related stories they've run over the past three years. These stories have done so much to really educate people on the issues and experiences of those dealing with infertility which is truly one of the most important components of advocacy. Lindsay Nohr Beck will be awarded the Barbara Eck Founders Award for her work with LIVESTRONG as their Cancer & Fertility Advisor. Kelly Damron is being honored with Hope Award for Service for her tireless and crucial work with her local Arizona area Resolve chapter. Eli Reshef, MD is being honored for his advocacy in he area of women's health and his involvement in defeating personhood amendments in his state. Atlee Breland, who founded "Parents Against Personhood", is receiving the Advocacy Award for her role in protecting the rights of people with infertility. And of course Redbook is receiving a very deserving honor for their "Truth About Trying" campaign which is spreading, not only knowledge about the realities of infertility, but also the message that there is no shame in having a hard time trying to become a parent. 

I am so in awe in each of these incredible award winners and the amazing ways they have advocated for women and men facing infertility. I still cannot believe that my quiet little blog is being lauded along with these incredible advocates. I have to admit, I'm a bit nervous about speaking onstage and I feel a little bit unworthy of such an incredible honor in comparison to the many blogs and advocates that have made a difference in my life. I just hope I don't trip on my way up or ramble when I'm speaking. And even more than that I hope I can continue to blog about topics that matter to this community and to be an advocate worthy of such a wonderful honor. 

The RESOLVE Night of Hope is Tuesday, October 2 at 7pm. You can follow along with what is happening at the gala by following #2012nightofhope on Twitter. You can also learn more about the award recipients and other event info by clicking here

Monday, September 24, 2012

Welcome Home

If you have read any of my posts in the past few months, you may have noticed my schedule is just a teensy bit full lately. Between entertaining out of town guests, travels of our own, moving into our new home and the daily in and outs of everyday life I feel like I have barely been able to take a breath lately, let alone think about how I feel about all of the things that have been happening. I have however been trying my absolute best to live in and enjoy every moment of all of these events both big and small. 

For starters, we had an amazing time on our first trip without Eliana. I was so nervous that I wouldn't be able to enjoy myself but in the end all three of us benefited from the trip. Chad and I were able to spend quality time with each other and our friends and Eliana had an amazing time with her grandparents. And absolutely nothing compared with the moment we came home to her excited smiles and endless hugs. She spent the entire afternoon after we got home running back and forth between the two of us giggling and throwing herself into full body hugs and kisses. I melt all over again just thinking about it. 

We didn't have long to stop and reflect on the fun we had though because the next day we threw ourselves straight into moving and it's been non-stop since. It has been so busy that I haven't had time to really reflect on leaving the home we inhabited for the past three years. Yeah, it's just an apartment, but so much happened there. This was where we lived when we came to California from Florida without a friend or family member within 1000 miles, when it was literally just the two of us against the world. This was where we held each other and cried after so many BFNs, where we hoped things would "just fall into place". We were in that apartment when we decided to pursue IVF. We where there for both of the phone calls that gave us the news that I was pregnant. We holed up together in that living room crying and mourning the loss of my first pregnancy. I will never forget the days I spent in that bedroom on bedrest after my FET, hoping that Snow Pea was snuggling in as I watched "Gone With the Wind" and relaxed to the hum of our new window a/c as the 115 heat wave roared outside nor will I forget any moment of the pregnancy that followed and all of the excited hopeful moments that it contained. Taking apart the desk and guest bed to make room for a crib and changing table, hanging vinyl star decals on the freshly painted nursery walls, baking spicy labor cookies in the tiny kitchen, saying goodbye to our life as a couple as we left for the hospital and hello to our life as a family when we returned home with Snow Pea in our arms. 

That apartment is where Eliana laughed for the first time, spoke her first words and took her first steps. There are so many amazing and important memories there and it is bittersweet leaving the place where so many important moments in my life took place. But it's not just the past I am sad to say goodbye to. In the past few months we have become close with the neighbors that live next door to us. They have a son just a bit older than Eliana and the two of them have a blast playing together. And the four of us adults have a great time just hanging out, talking and laughing together. The first time we sat on the patio together chatting, we were there until 3am, not realizing just how late it was. Becoming parents isn't exactly easy on your social life and having friends we genuinely liked and clicked with right next door was pretty incredible. We got to feel like our Saturday nights were fun again while still having the comfort of being just a few steps away from our baby girl. Of course, we are maintaining our friendship with them but we are definitely sad to give them up as neighbors. I know it's just a place, just four walls and a roof but I can't help but feel a connection to that place. I probably always will. It is after all where I lived for what has turned out to be the most significant three years of my life.

We are officially living in our new house (yes that is a picture of it- LOVE!) and we really do love it here. This house has more space, heaps more character and a great yard complete with white picket fence. We are just two blocks from the park and five blocks from downtown and all kinds of fantastic cafes, coffee shops and antique stores. But there is still plenty left to do until we are "settled". Luckily, Snow Pea loves the new house and only really lost sleep our first night here. Since then, she has become pretty comfortable and happy in her new digs. Speaking of happy, that is her new favorite word. She started saying it last week and hasn't stopped. It is absolutely, unbelievably heart melting to hear! I ask her if she is a happy baby girl then she responds with a giant smile and giggle before exclaiming "happy! happy! happy!" over and over again. It's the best. She has a few other new words too. She loves saying apple, up, baby, book, ball and her two best friends names Avery and JoJo. All of which she has learned since our move. She even said her very first sentence the other day! I asked her what she wanted to do and she said "go outside walk!" It was astounding! It is incredible to witness and experience every new day with her. She is developing such a fun, goofy and lovable personality and after only a week in the new house she has already created so many wonderful memories here. I can't wait to experience and create even more, maybe one day as a family of four.